Tuesday, July 12, 2005

A Strategy of Non-sequiters

The London bombings clearly showed the fallacy of President Bush's "flypaper theory," but you wouldn't know that from listening to him.

In yet another "town hall meeting" speech given to a captive and sympathetic audience of US Marines and FBI recruits yesterday, he repeated his favorite mantras.

--"We're fighting the enemy in Iraq and Afghanistan and across the world so we do not have to face them here at home."

If we don't have to face them here at home, why do we need a Department of Homeland Security? Why did we have to elevate the alert level after the London bombings?

--"The war on terror in Iraq is now a central front. The terrorists fight in Iraq because they know that the survival of their hateful ideology is at stake. They know that as freedom takes root in Iraq, it will inspire millions across the Middle East to claim their liberty as well."

The freedom that takes root in Iraq is most likely to be a theocracy friendly to Iran. Some freedom. (More importantly, some accomplishment of US national aims.)

All this is reminiscent of my favorite Bush non-sequiter: "I think [the terrorists] are losing. That's why they're still fighting."

Silly terrorists. Can't they see that if they stop fighting, they've won?

It goes on and on and on and on and on and on...

Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter of California says he rejects the idea of forcing the administration to lay out a clear exit strategy because it ''sends a message" that the United States is not committed to finishing the job in Iraq. But, hey, wait a minute, Congressman. What message does not having an exit strategy send? That we never intend to "finish the job?"

And just what is the "job," anyway? A "free and secure Iraq?" How free? How secure? If you can't define those two things in relatively specific terms, you have no tangible goals. There is no "job," and you'll never get it done.

Put another way, there is no exit strategy.

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